- TV Show
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- Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
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- In Season
Boats and bros! Boats and bros! All aboard the USS Scrubs and Six Packs for a day of male bonding with Grey Sloan Memorial’s finest.
But before we embark, we first check in at Owen’s house, where Amelia is nervously looking over her notes. Today is her first day back in the OR since her tumor was removed and she’s understandably nervous. Once again proving he’s a better friend than husband, Owen comforts her before they reiterate their decision to divorce. They also remark on Meredith’s JSA (Journal of Surgical Advancement) cover that she got for her paper on Megan’s groundbreaking abdominal wall transplant. Amelia jokes that she’s now she’s going to be impossible to live with, and perhaps she shouldn’t move back in with her after all.
As Meredith, Maggie, and Amelia walk into Grey Sloan Memorial, Meredith is besieged with her colleagues holding up their own copies of JSA. Even Amelia’s arrogant mentor, Tom, compliments the cover girl before saying his farewell; since Amelia is back and he cleared her for surgery, he’s no longer needed. He tells Amelia to knock ’em dead — figuratively — before he goes.
Karev asks Meredith to be nice (“not Mer nice, but real nice”) to Jo because she’s bummed she’s not on the paper. Meredith laughs as a response before being gently teased by Jackson about her JSA appearance. Karev reminds him that he can buy his own magazine and put himself on the cover, adding that if he had Jackson’s money he wouldn’t be there. He’d be on a boat. Action Jackson takes Karev up on the idea, and with a few taps on his phone, he’s bought himself a yacht.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Meredith is facing an uphill battle with her patient, Judge King, a court hero for immigrants and domestic abuse survivors, who has stage 4A colon cancer and isn’t eligible for a transplant. Her plan is to do a surgery that will be the first of its kind on the West Coast.
Amelia’s “welcome back” surgery is on a mom of three who needs — what else? — a brain tumor removed! But Amelia is so nervous about it, especially after one of the children asks her if her mom is still going to be her mom after the surgery, that Amelia literally throws herself in the way of Tom’s car as he’s backing out of the parking lot. She needs him to stay to help her get through it.
Arizona and April are hanging out at the nurses’ station, each Tindering on their phones. Arizona tells April she accidentally broke up with Carina, but that it’s okay because she has to get ready for Sofia’s arrival anyway. Maggie joins them and starts Tindering as well. Bailey interrupts their swiping to ask why they’re all standing around, then grabs Maggie’s phone from her and swipes right on a guy named David M. Before Maggie can even process, they’re interrupted with an emergency.
Meanwhile, as Karev and Jackson are leaving, they run into Ben, DeLuca, and Owen. It doesn’t take much coaxing to get the guys to go check out Jackson’s boat with him. But because he literally just bought it, he didn’t have time to find a captain, which means they’re going to be all yachted up with no place to go. As the Grey Sloan Memorial-street Boys (minus DeLuca, who was sent for food) board Jackson’s new toy with coolers and fishing poles, Karev teases Jackson about not knowing the name of his boat. “It’s Shut It, Karev,” he snaps back. Turns out a quarter of a billion dollars buys you some shade, too.
Meanwhile back in the ER, the women are fighting over who gets to deal with Danielle, an 18-year-old brought in for abdomen pain, because they don’t want to deal with Mr. Nelligan, a hypochondriac and frequent visitor to the ER. Bailey draws the short straw, however, and tends to his requests for unnecessary tests as Arizona, April, and Maggie are trying to find out what made Danielle collapse. “If you swallowed something,” Arizona begins, but she’s cut off by Danielle who yells, “I DIDN’T SWALLOW IT!” before a gun fires, shooting both Danielle and Mr. Nelligan in the next bed. As everyone is frantically trying to figure out where they gunshot came from, Arizona realizes the wound in Danielle is only an exit wound. “Did you put a gun in your vagina?!?” she asks, as incredulous as the rest of us.
Turns out Danielle’s boyfriend is in prison and she was trying to mule the firearm in at his request. And you thought your love life has issues.
Poor Mr. Nelligan is going to need surgery, too, which Bailey and Maggie scrub in on. As Maggie starts questioning whether or not she’s like Mr. Nelligan in that she makes everything harder than it needs to be, her phone pings. Turns out David M. is a match. In an attempt to be an anti-Mr. Nelligan, she tells him to meet her in the lobby at 8. Bailey tells her that her move is “not gun-in-the-oven bold,” but bold nonetheless.
Meredith is attempting to get the judge to sign the consent form for his risky surgery. He asks her what would she do, but ethically she can’t direct him. Leave it to Jo to step in and tell him that she would get it done in a heartbeat. Before the surgery, though, Meredith goes to talk to him again to make sure he understands the risks and to explain that what Jo did was unethical. He tells her that he didn’t sign the consent form because of Jo. He’s signing it because his wife, who died unexpectedly eight years ago, would tell him to fight.
In Amelia’s surgery, which Tom has reluctantly scrubbed in on, he tells her that the hand is mighty but the mind is weak — before something Amelia does makes the patient’s brain start bleeding. “Ooops,” he says, “Maybe you were right. Maybe you weren’t ready.”
Dockside, the boys have bonded over a knot-tying competition when DeLuca finally shows up with lunch: a bunch of raw fish. This prompts them to talk about their family when DeLuca bemoans that his sister ends up sleeping with all his friends. Owen ends up offering him a place to stay since he’s going to have to move out of Arizona’s apartment since Sofia is moving back. As they lounge around the hot tub later on, Ben admits to the guys that he’s applied to the fire training academy and got in, but that Miranda doesn’t know. Talk about gun-in-the-oven stupid. (Recap continues on page 2)
1-800-799-7233 Season 14 Episode 9
Editor's Rating 4 stars
Grey’s fam, it’s been two months since last we gathered on this sacred recap ground to spiritually hold hands as we gasped, laughed, and sobbed our way through a Grey’s Anatomy episode. Two whole months! Though many things have changed in our own world since we last checked in with our favorite hot, drama-loving doctors, we arrive back at Grey Sloan Memorial exactly where we left off: With Jo racing to tell Alex not to give that cute kid with thick-blood disease heparin or risk killing him, but getting delayed by running directly into her terrible, abusive, stalker husband Dr. Paul Stadler.
I’ll be honest: This episode does not do the cleanest job juggling its major shifts in tone. We go from a very harrowing portrayal of domestic abuse to things like … people flirting in towels? And Bailey trying to one-up the FBI? Not that I don’t love watching Bailey outsmart The Man, but it’s enough to cause some whiplash. However, Jo’s story line by itself is done so well that I can forgive the episode’s shortcomings. (Let’s not overlook the episode title, “1-800-799-7233” which is the phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It’s a nice touch that deserves to be repeated here.)
I know we rag on Jo from time to time because she can be whiny and annoying and because Stephanie was clearly too good for her, but this story line is as important as it is difficult to watch, and Camilla Luddington gives a powerful performance in this episode.
The wizards over at Shondaland toss in a few surprise elements when it comes to Jo facing her abuser. First, Paul has not arrived at Grey Sloan Memorial alone. He’s brought along his fiancée, Jenny (Bethany Joy Lenz). The two of them were just overjoyed to get Jo’s divorce papers because now they can finally get married. Such lovebirds! Paul’s only been around for 60 seconds and I am already creeped out by this dude.
The other surprise is that Dr. Paul Stadler is a globally renowned, revered surgeon. Arizona and Webber are both big fans of his work. In fact, when Paul notices the crisis Grey Sloan is currently in — hackers have the hospital hostage, remember? There are no charts! No monitors! No access to blood! Things are dire, people! — he asks Webber if he can lend a hand. Anyone else’s stomach turn as AZ and Webber fawned over the guy? It’s an effective way to show just how charming a creep like that can be.
So, now the guy has surgical privileges. Thank Shonda that Paul gets sent to an OR run by Meredith Grey. She’s still working on her splenectomy, and Glasses the Intern (a.k.a. Specs a.k.a. Blood Bank) has fainted after donating blood to the patient, so Paul steps in. He attempts to be all charming and kind-hearted and “congratulations on your Harper Avery,” but Meredith shuts him down hard, like the badass she is. She’s friends with Jo Wilson and she knows exactly who Paul Stadler is. A lot of tense things have happened over an open body cavity on this show, but this back-and-forth is one of the best.
Paul goes immediately into his second phase of attack, which is to inform people that Jo is unstable. That Jo is a drunk. That Jo really needs help. Again, this won’t work on Meredith. A terrified Jo sits in the operating gallery and listens to the entire exchange. In one of the most moving moments of the episode, she finds Meredith after the surgery to refute what Paul said, and Meredith embraces her. Meredith knows who Jo is.
Meredith is a superhero in this episode (also, every episode), and as she, Jo, and Alex attempt to make a plan to tackle the situation, it becomes clear that Alex and his temper need to stay away from Paul. But Jo will never be alone with him, because Meredith is standing by her side. The two ladies meet with Paul to officially sign the divorce papers. The nightmare should be finally over … except Jo gets a glimpse of Paul walking out the door with Jenny, and Jo knows she has to try and save this woman from the monster she is going to marry.
Jo and Meredith have Arizona distract Paul by (fake) fan-girling all over him, giving Jo time to talk to Jenny alone. Jo tells her all about how Paul would manipulate her into thinking she was crazy, about how his verbal and physical abuse grew and grew, about how he kicked her so hard she ended up with broken ribs because he saw a man’s name in her email. Jenny’s reaction runs the gamut from, “You are as crazy as Paul said” to her eyes screaming “Help me, please!” Jo gives Jenny her phone number and address just before he returns. (Arizona is pretty terrible at creating a diversion, not a surprise.)
The horror show isn’t over, though.
For reasons yet to be fully unpacked, Jenny tells Paul what Jo said, and he finds Jo and Meredith alone in the residents’ locker room. Paul immediately gets angry, and we get a front-row seat to the awful kind of emotional abuse Jo suffered while married to him. Now, thanks to the information she gave to Jenny, he knows exactly where to find Jo, should he ever want to. Obviously, this puts Jo into a panic. Alex promises her that she is safe. She just wishes Paul were dead.
Suddenly, it’s a sunny new day in Seattle! Superhero Meredith has helped vanquish the bad guy from her kingdom! She strolls into the hospital to find Jo and Alex holding each other. They’re looking on in disbelief at a hit-and-run victim who’s being worked on in the ER. That victim is Paul Stadler.
Well, this doesn’t look good.
• Two doctors covered in blood after the helicopter ride from hell could be a harrowing incident, but instead, it turns into a Jackson-and-Maggie flirt-fest. They spend a good portion of the episode wearing just towels! They also talk openly about how complicated a romantic relationship would be, but don’t go further than that. Obviously it will be going further than that, regardless of how anyone else (or this recapper) feels about it.
• Maggie calls Jackson “the human superlative” after learning about his charmed high-school experience. It is the greatest summation of Jackson Avery in history.
• When Bailey realizes the FBI isn’t moving fast enough, she enlists the help of an intern who has a background in cybersecurity, by which he means he was convicted of hacking into a federal server. Whatever his methods, they work. As ridiculous as this story line is, it does end on a nice button: The federal server the intern hacked into was the DMV, and he did it because he’s transgender and his driver’s license listed him as female. The DMV wouldn’t change it, so he did.
• Not that anyone seems to care, including their doctors, but there were an awful lot of patients’ lives hanging in the balance over the winter hiatus. Don’t worry, everyone lives! Including the precocious little Frankie and his thick blood.
• Has April’s face ever lit up as much as it did when Webber secretly tricked her into taking on the logistics for Bailey’s surgical-award competition?
• Team Trauma is back! I missed them!
• Are we invested in the DeLuca and Sam story? Jury’s still out. Are we invested in the fact that Webber calls them out for repeatedly, and loudly, getting it on within the walls of Grey Sloan Memorial? I mean, obviously.